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iPhone 3G – the story so far

So whats the big deal eh? Here’s a quick break down of some of the things that have taken place in the last week.

The figures
1 million units sold by about middle of last week
10 million downloads from app store in the first weekend!!
Around 800 applications available for download in the App Store, over 200 of these are free; at launch, there were about 550 apps available.

“It took 74 days to sell the first one million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world,” said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs in a statement.

So all in all a pretty major success for Apple!

The problems
Well releasing a new firmware update barely 2 days after launch threw a few people and it would appear the sheer volume of units pushed inevitably made things tricky for the retailers and there staff but on the whole most articles are reporting positive feedback on the buying experience.

But not everyone is happy of course here are the top 10 reasons to hate the new iPhone. On the whole we feel this is a good article that highlights the main areas where the the new 3G iPhone is a of a let down – though we feel hate is a very strong word!! It would appear that what we are really seeing here for the first time (second with the original iPhone) is Form without function. For years Apple products were the workhorses of the faithful creative industry and therefore function was everything, they weren’t public facing products. Since the original fruity flavoured iMacs, and the march of the iPod revolution things have been moving to a consumer focus for Apple with great success. On the whole however they were competing in areas where they had the lead over their competitors – with the telco market this is somewhat different and although this is more an exercise in creating the first generation of mobile web devices – Apple has many hurdles to jump in needing to placate the telcos themselves. This is why we don’t have instant messaging out of the box, and is possibly a big reason behind no web cam and certainly no forward facing camera – how long would it be before there was a skype hack. It’s a shame because many people want the old telco model to be broken and if every new product innovation that comes along is trapped to their network architecture then we surely stay in the mobile web dark ages, regardless of how well the browser renders!!

The big issue
The price of plans!! The prices from country to country are all over the place and the big issue F/F have is that ignoring the phone aspect of this – what you are really wanting to pay for with this phone is the internet and email capabilities and this is where it sucks. In Australia where broadband is still quite expensive you would think the iPhone plans would reflect broadband packages not other mobile packages – or at least reflect the pricing of Blackberry packages. But no and this is the case in many other countries.

Pricing is also a big issues for overseas business travelers as unlike the Blackberry the methods used to serve emails and documents with attachments seriously lack the needed compression to keep your data transfer to a minimum – this can quickly prove very costly. It would appear that buying your iPhone and getting it unlocked and going pre-paid in which ever country you are in may be the best option for now.

But the bottom line is there are no unlimited data plans and for power users the Blackberry will win out over the 3G iPhone in every market. Because of this the Blackberry is surely likely to remain the phone of choice for big business.

Price revolution
Though a small concession, consumer action across the web has managed to cause a reduction in plans in Canada, showing that with enough voices the consumers can get results. But I fear the sheer hype and demand around this product means most people will just swallow the cost of plans as if this product is so much better that this is just what it costs. Remember for many people this is the first time the will have used such a phone, they won’t have any experience of competitor phones or their associated data plans – and the telcos are obviously fully aware of this.

Thoughts
As it stands no one has an iPhone here at F/F. We really do want one, the apps and the future of mobile web truly starts here but for now the price really does out weigh the need.

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